Need help! Cracked and bleeding nipples

Visitor (not verified)
anonymous user
Registered: 12-31-1969
Need help! Cracked and bleeding nipples
4
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 2:37pm
Hi all! I've been pumping for 5 weeks now and my LO is 6 weeks. I pump 7-8 times per day 15-20 minutes and get 50 oz/day. In the first week I got contact dermatitis and cuts on my nipples that were pretty bad so my LC recommended going up a size in flanges. I did that but after a week or so, I got cuts on my areolas and plugged ducts. I've been alternating between the sizes and putting up with the pain but it's getting worse and worse. I want to quit but we can't really afford formula and my LO still won't latch on the breast. Please help!!
iVillage Member
Registered: 06-29-2013
Sat, 06-29-2013 - 9:33am
i was going through the same thing, even to the point of crying when I breastfed. Some tools I am using to help, lanolin, therashells, hydrogel pads, joboba oil in the shower and saline rinse (dip nipple for a minute only and air dry). I've seen a significant reduction in nipple pain and I no longer dread pumping/breastfeeding. Good luck!
iVillage Member
Registered: 02-06-2012
Wed, 10-10-2012 - 9:17pm

I have a little bit of anecdotal advice. I had been pumping for more than 10 months when my left nipple started cracking and then bleeding. I tried lanolin, vaseline, coconut oil, and other types of lotion, and while they made it less painful, they didn't heal my skin. The nipple was bright red and sometimes itchy. I tried to be gentle on that side, and that resulted in getting mastitis. Ugh. I went on antibiotics for 10 days, and my skin went back to normal and the cracks healed within just a few days. I was also doing salt water soaks after each pumping session (3/day). Now that I'm off the antibiotic, it's starting to crack again a bit. I had thought it might be thrush, but my OB/GYN didn't think it was, and clearing up on the antibiotic makes me think that something else is going on. I'm tempted to try an antibiotic ointment like Neosporin. I think it's an ingredient in the homemade version of the all-purpose nipple ointment that some people recommend. So, maybe something you can try!

iVillage Member
Registered: 12-31-1969
Wed, 10-03-2012 - 5:48pm

You should try lanolin. You can also use olive oil to moist your flanges so the hard rubbing is not so tough on you. If you can't afford formula, you should know that if there is any WIC places near you, they will be able to provide formula for you free of charge if you qualify. With my first baby I was unemployed, and wasn't able to latch her, or even pump because my nipples were ripping out and bleeding so I couldn't even pump anymore, and WIC was able to help me with the formula, and even milk after the 1 year mark. As long as you qualify, they will help you out with formula, baby food, fruit juice and cereal until the baby is 6 years old.